With less than a week until students return to the classroom, the Greater Victoria School District 61 has worked up a plan in order to keep its crossing guard program going.
Back in June, the Greater Victoria Crossing Guard Association closed its doors, leaving the future of the program uncertain.
One month later, Victoria and Saanich councils sent letters to the Greater Victoria School District proposing a more permanent funding option for crossing guards.
The Greater Victoria School District says it continues to meet with the municipalities on this topic, but have yet to reach a funding agreement.
CHEK News requested an interview about the school crossing guard program, but the school district sent a statement in lieu.
“In the interim and if funding timelines cannot be immediately agreed upon with local municipalities, the district has a short-term contingency plan in place for the start of the school year,” says Ryan Painter, board chair of the district in a statement to CHEK News.
“We have done this in anticipation that 100% of crossing guard funding will continue from municipalities, as it has for the past 20 years.”
However, when asked about the plan for the crossing guard program, the City of Victoria says it has allocated the same amount of funds it was previously giving to the GVCGA to the district.
“We provided funding for an initial number of intersections, there may be more funding that is required later in the year or next year and we’ll of course provide that because children’s safety is invaluable,” says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
The City of Victoria will provide $62,000 to the district in order to keep the program going, and they aren’t the only ones wanting to help out.
The District of Saanich also says it sent a letter to the school district on Aug. 18, offering to share in the crossing guard costs.
“We all care about kids’ safety, we all want kids to get to school safely when it reopens next week,” adds Helps.